Donald Sutherland

Mary Tyler Moore on film: In 'Ordinary People,' an extraordinary transformation

Mary Tyler Moore on film: In 'Ordinary People,' an extraordinary transformation

In the final scene of “Christine,” Antonio Campos’ 2016 drama about the short life and tragic death of a Florida-based TV news reporter named Christine Chubbuck, a woman returns home after a terrible day at work, scoops herself some ice cream and throws on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show.” She doesn’t really watch it, but she sings along, sadly and quietly, to the theme song: “We’re gonna make it after all” never sounded so forlorn.

It’s a risky reference, drawing a ghoulish contrast between “Christine’s” drab, unhappy vision of 1970s broadcasting with its warm, upbeat network-sitcom counterpart. But it also speaks to the enduring power of the image that Moore...

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